Learning Lab

The need/want to do a variety of testing and learning led me to build a PC that would enable this. Below is a list of the hardware used. This is based on a kit sold by PBtech in New Zealand.  I am running Windows 10 on it with Hyper-V installed. This lets me run  virtual machines with which to do my testing. I find this kit runs 4 or 5 VMs at the same time very nicely. I spread the running VMs across two of the Solid  State Drives with the host operating system running on the third SSD. The 1 TB drive is for storage of ISO files and other data.


  • Cooler Master Silencio 352 Mini Tower mATX Case
  • Cooler Master MWE BRONZE 450 80Plus Bronze PSU
  • Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 7700 Quad Core 3.6Ghz
  • ASRock B250M Pro4 mATX Form
  • 2 X Crucial 16GB DESKTOP DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200)
  • 3 X Samsung 850 Pro MZ-7KE256BW 256GB 2.5″ SSD
  • 1 TB SATA drive

Hello 2016

We finished off 2015 with a walk on the beach with the girls. Was a hot day so Piper was happy to go out in the water and cool off. Jazmine enjoyed checking around the rocks in the water. Not sure if she is hunting or what. Hazel likes the water but is unsure of the incoming waves.

New Years Day has been a bit cooler with rain in the weather forecast but we have yet to see the rain. This evening I played fetch with Hazel. The soccer ball has little air in it so she can bite and pick it up. Toss or kick it across the yard and she captures the moving ball and brings it back.

Picture below of her with the soccer ball gives some reference to how big she is getting.



We have for going on two years been been looking for a trying to get a Brittany Spaniel puppy. Well the one breeder in Australia we have been talking to finally had a litter and we got a puppy. She is currently in Perth Australia and has a to wait till she is 12 weeks old to be able to travel by plane to New Zealand.

We are naming her Hazel.




Daylight Savings

On Sunday we switched to daylight savings. Just in time as the weather is slowly warming up. Saturday was a windy but nice 50 KM bike ride followed by coffee. The group of people doing these past two longer rides has been good for Emma and I, allowing us to ride a bit faster and farther that the earlier rides this season.

The transportation for the new puppy from Perth Australia to New Plymouth has been arranged. We have not chosen which puppy we want yet but the breeder has been taking pictures so we can get a good look at them to help us decide.

A week ago Monday when out running I turned my ankle and had to limp home with the dogs. Took the week off for the swelling to go down. Still hurts but I can run and bike now so healing up nicely.

Farwell June

Another month has flown by. June brought us depending on where in New Zealand you were, rain, near record cold temperatures, snow and floods.

Winter Chill

Winter does not start till June 1st, but has felt like it came early as for about the last week we have had a cold spell that is now looking to let up. Single digit temperatures at night and some rain most days. The girls don’t mind cause if the days are cool there is not reason they cannot go with us when we go shopping etc.


A Few Notes

Winter made a short visit. We had snow on both Mount Taranaki and the ranges the other day, to go along with cold nights. We had to get the heat going in the lounge and use the electric blankets to be warm enough to get some sleep.

Got out for a group bike ride yesterday. The temperature was 15 – 17 degrees C so not too bad, but the downpour we ran into got everyone soaked. For the most part everyone stayed warm enough. For me was fun to get out on the bike again.

We got some photos from the Taranaki Masters Games

Waiting for our start times


Emma on the course


Emma with her gold medal.


Masters Games Triathlon

A few weeks back we headed down to the port not knowing what the conditions would be. Checking wind conditions online showed a variety of wind conditions. When we first got a look at the sea it was very rough and not at all looking like conditions we wanted to swim in. The water conditions in the port were much better but we could see waves outside the port breaking over the break water displaying what conditions outside of the port were like. We got our numbers for the Taranaki Master Games Triathlon.

The swim start was different with having to navigate the at times large break to get out to open water. The first large wave I had to navigate I was still on by feet, I rode up the wave and came back down on my feet and my knee snapped backwards. I fell forward and started swimming. Two more large waves came and I swam into them surfer style going through the waves instead of riding over them. From that point on the going was pretty good with just some swells to deal with. With the swells I was a bit challenging seeing and navigating the buoys for the swim course but all went well.

The bike course is the same one we have ridden many times. The wind gave some people a case of the wobbles at times but overall the conditions were good.

The wind had no effect on the run, which was uneventful and i never once thought about how I jammed my knee during the swim.

Was a bit of a different event with many different races going on together, Club races, Masters Games, School Champs and duathlon.


That Darn Cat

Last week we were having a nice sleep when the dogs got riled up. A neighbourhood cat had come in one of the windows. Emma went to put the cat out but it would not go out the door she opened for it nor the window it came in. A bit of cat herding later and the the cat was gone.

This past Saturday we went down to Hawera and did a sprint triathlon, 600m swim, 18km bike and 4.7 km run. It was a pool swim and they asked for the fast swimmers to line up first. Emma lined up near the front and when they opened the start chute no one would go so Emma stepped up and was first in the water. She held the lead till the half way mark when two swimmers passed her when they had to exit the pool, run to the start point and swim another 6 lengths. People were pretty good about getting in the pool with others near their speed so the pool did not get too congested.

The bike course was a two lap affair that took us out of town and back. There were two small climbs and a good cross wind that turned into a head wind on one leg of the bike.

The run was another two lapper taking us through the neighbourhood around the sports complex.

Emma had a really good swim, a strong bike ride but was not totally happy with her run. Unofficially she was second in her age group.

I had my usual average swim, I was happy with my bike, trying to go hard all the way and see what my run would be like after a hard bike leg. The run started out a bit rough but my legs came to me as I kept going and I was happy over all with how my race went.

Tonight we did our usual Tuesday night criterium. It was a new course just using the bottom half of the road course which made for of lots of climbing. It was hidden handicap so we all started at the same time and did 14 laps (12 km) and they handicap the results. I was first and Emma second. I thought I was doing well sitting 10 meters behind Emma. But near the end I was able to close in on her and pass her on the climb and was able to stay a head of her for the last two laps. I liked the course and hope we do it again. The win was the icing on the cake as I was quite happy with how I rode.

Piper Runs Again

Piper went for her first post surgery run this morning. It was only about 5 minutes long but it was long enough for us to see that she still favours her damaged leg a bit. We will do the same run with her for a while to see if the leg improves some more. She has a bit of muscle to build back up.

After work we went for a lake swim after work out by Waitara. It is a handy location as it is only about 10 minutes from the house.  We met up with a group that often swims at the lake. At first the water felt too warm for a wetsuit swim but after a while I got used to the temperature. Not a large lake but a swim from the where we entered the water out and around and island near the far end and back was about 800 metres. Was a nice change to a ocean swim in that there were not waves or currents to deal with.